The 39th edition of the International WorkBoat Show kicks off on Wednesday in New Orleans and runs through Friday.

Each year, the show is essentially a huge grandstand for attendees to see the latest products and services that workboat-related companies are offering to the industry.

For the editors of WorkBoat, our annual International WorkBoat Show issue is also a chance for us to revisit what our industry has been up to in the last year. An important part of that is the construction and operation of brownwater vessels, everything from ferries to tugs, towboats, barges and ATBs to patrol boats and fireboats.

In our annual Boatbuilding Review we feature about 50 (51 to be exact) vessels and barges that appeared in the pages of WorkBoat over the past 12 months.

Of the 50 that appeared in our pages from December 2017 through November 2018, we will again honor 10 of them in a special breakfast ceremony before the show opens on Thursday morning. From these 10 Significant Boats, a Boat of the Year for 2018 will be chosen. This year, for the first time, we have turned over the selection of the Boat of the Year to you, the readers of WorkBoat and We look forward to announcing the voters’ choice and hope this will become a tradition in the years ahead.

This year’s list included four passenger vessels, two of them ferries. Other selections: two ATBs, a tug, towboat, fire-rescue boat and an LNG bunker barge.

Six of the vessels were built at Gulf of Mexico shipyards, two were built at West Coast yards, and two at Great Lakes shipyards.

Be sure to stop by the 2018 Significant Boats Gallery at the show in Lobby B of the Morial Convention Center to see who we chose as this year's top 10 boats of the year. See you this week at the show.

David Krapf has been editor of WorkBoat, the nation’s leading trade magazine for the inland and coastal waterways industry, since 1999. He is responsible for overseeing the editorial direction of the publication. Krapf has been in the publishing industry since 1987, beginning as a reporter and editor with daily and weekly newspapers in the Houston area. He also was the editor of a transportation industry daily in New Orleans before joining WorkBoat as a contributing editor in 1992. He has been covering the transportation industry since 1989, and has a degree in business administration from the State University of New York at Oswego, and also studied journalism at the University of Houston.